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NBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript: The Republican Party

Interview

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SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I) VERMONT: You have been .

SCHULTZ: Great to be with you.

SANDERS: You bet.

SCHULTZ: You`re doing your homework and I appreciate it, because
you`re going to go down there and push the flush (ph) and find out what
these people are saying on the wake of this shutdown and the money that we
lost, the $24 billion and the priority set forward. Senator, what are you
hearing down south?

SANDERS: You got a lot of great people. I`ve been meeting with trade
unionist, independents, progressive democrats, and they are tired of being
abandoned by the National Democratic Party. They want some help and they
believe that was somehow they can start winning in these conservative
states. And what they are saying very clearly is that in Mississippi, in
Alabama, in Georgia, South Carolina people are hurting. These are low
income states.

And, what concerns me is that you have many white working class people
who are voting against their own best interest. These are guys getting
hang up (ph), on gay marriage issues, they`re getting hang up on abortion
issues and it is time we started focusing on the economic issues that bring
us together, defending Social Security, defending Medicare, making sure
that Medicaid is not cut, the veterans programs are not cut.

And I honestly believe that we can win states in the south, because
you got a lot of folks here who are hurting terribly. These are people who
are working for low wages. They don`t have any healthcare. They can
afford to send their kids for college. And I think if we start pounding
away at the economic message our willingness to take on the big money
interest to take on Wall Street, to create the millions of jobs we need, to
raise the minimum wage, to make college affordable, you know what, I think
we can win on these southern states.

SCHULTZ: Senator, there are nine of these republicans on the budget
committee who are going to be going to conference committee who voted for
default. How are you going to work with them? I mean, they were ready to
allow the United States government, our country, to default on its debt.
And these guys, these people, are going to be on the budget committee, how
tough of fight is this going to be?

SANDERS: Well, the way you work with them is you make the case that
maybe, just maybe, they might want to be listening to what ordinary
Americans are saying in overwhelming numbers and not listening to the Koch
Brothers and other billionaires. And Ed, what the American people are
saying is very, very clear. They are saying in poll after poll, "Do not
cut Social Security. Do not cut Medicare. Do not cut Medicaid." What
they are saying is in fact the most important issue facing the American
people is not the deficit which is important but not the most important.
The most important issue is the need to create millions of jobs so we
deal with this frightfully high unemployment that we`re seeing. The most
important issue also is raising the minimum wage so we don`t have millions
of working people not surviving, really falling under because they`re
making $7.50, $8, $9 an hour. And if we deal with the deficit, then the
way to deal wit it is you`ve just indicate it. Take a hard look at the
(inaudible) spending. We are now spending almost this much as the entire
world combined, begin asking the one out of four. We have now one after
four major corporations not paying a nickel in federal income taxes. I
think we have to take a hard look at that as well.

So there are ways to do the deficit that is fair. We got to create
jobs and we got to protect Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid. That
is what by the way not just what Bernie Sanders wants, that is exactly what
the American people want .

SCHULTZ: That is what the American people want and it is exactly what
the republicans are going to go after. They paid no attention to polls in
the past. There are all about the ideology of how they think government
should be run. Paul Ryan of course -- excuse me, is right at the heart of
all of these. I mean, we could be headed right back for round two of
another government shutdown. I mean, do you really think that the
republicans are going to be honest brokers and negotiate to strengthen
these programs without cutting on benefits?

SANDERS: Well, I think we`ve got to make them an offer they can`t
afford not to take. And that is if they once again -- look, they got
burned very, very badly in their willingness to shutdown the government .

SCHULTZ: American taxpayers got burned.

SANDERS: . to default on our bills.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

SANDERS: The American taxpayers got burned but they are (ph) brand
name of Republicanism has gone way, way down. They`re not worried. They
are now worried whether they are going to retain control over the House.
And I think their hopes of winning the senate have significantly
diminished.

Our job is simply to raise consciousness on the issue to let the
American people know what`s going on. And if they in the midst of all of
the opposition, they`re cutting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
If they want to move in that direction, we`ve got to rally the American
people as loudly and clearly as we can. If they go in that direction, I
think, Ed, they can lose the House and they surely are not going to gain
control of the senate. But our job is to organize and educate the American
people .

SCHULTZ: Yes.

SANDERS: . to put pressure on them.

SCHULTZ: All right. Senator Bernie.

SANDERS: And if we do that, I think we`re going to be in pretty good
shape.

SCHULTZ: All right. Senator Bernie Sanders, it`s (ph) going to be
interesting here. No question about it. Thank you for joining us tonight.
Appreciate you doing that Southern tour. I think it`s desperately needed.
Messaging is the big key. A lot of people vote against their best interest
in the south.

Remember to answer tonight`s question there at the bottom of the
screen. Share your thoughts on Twitter at Ed Show and on Facebook. We
love it when you like us there. We always want to know what you think.
Coming up, Stephen Colbertgoes on a terror (ph) and targets Mayor
Bloomberg, plus the Fox News Live Machine revives an oldie but goody to
attack ObamaCare. By the way, ACORN is back.

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